Reading Contemporary Black British and African American Women Writers: Race, Ethics, Narrative Form, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Reading Contemporary Black British and African American Women Writers

Race, Ethics, Narrative Form, 1st Edition

Edited by Jean Wyatt, Sheldon George


312 pages

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Hardback: 9780367189280
pub: 2020-01-13
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Contemporary African American and Black British Women Writers: Narrative, Race, Ethics brings together British and American scholars to explore how, in texts by contemporary black women writers in the U. S. and Britain, formal narrative techniques express new understandings of race or stimulate ethical thinking about race in a reader. Taken together, the essays also demonstrate that black women writers from both sides of the Atlantic borrow formal structures and literary techniques from one another to describe the workings of structural racism in the daily lives of black subjects and to provoke readers to think anew about race. Narratology has only recently begun to use race as a category of narrative theory. This collection seeks both to show the ethical effects of narrative form on individual readers and to foster reconceptualizations of narrative theory that account for the workings of race within literature and culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Narrative Theory and Contemporary Black Women Writers

Jean Wyatt and Sheldon George

Part 1: African American Women Writers: Narrative Form, Race, Ethics

Chapter 1. At the Crossroads of Form and Ideology: Disidentification in Claudia Rankine’s Citizen

Catherine Romagnolo, Professor of English, Lebanon Valley College, USA

Chapter 2. "She was miraculously neutral": Feeling, Ethics and Metafiction in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah

Jennifer Terry, Associate Professor of English, Durham University, UK

Chapter 3. Ableism and the Reproduction of Racial Difference in Nella Larsen’s Passing and Toni Morrison’s "Recitatif"

Milo Obourn, Associate Professor of English, Brockport State University, USA

Chapter 4. "When We Speak of Otherness": Narrative Unreliability and the Ethics of Othering in Toni Morrison’s Jazz and Home

Herman Beavers, Professor of English and Africana Studies, University of Pennsylvania, USA

Chapter 5. Learning to Listen in Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing

Stephanie Li, Professor of English, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

Chapter 6. Maternal Sovereignty: Destruction and Survival in Jesmyn Ward’s Salvage the Bones

Naomi Morgenstern, Associate Professor of English and American Literature, University of Toronto, Canada

Chapter 7. Narrating the Raced Subject: Toni Morrison’s Jazz and the Literature of Modernism

Sheldon George, Professor of English, Simmons University, USA

Part 2: Black British Women Writers: Narrative Form, Race, Ethics

Chapter 8. Swing Time: Zadie Smith’s Aesthetic of Active Ambivalence

Daphne Lamothe, Associate Professor Africana Studies, Smith College, USA

Chapter 9. Zadie Smith’s Narratives of the Absurd: A Social Vision Represented through Humor

Sarah Ilott, Lecturer in English and Film, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Chapter 10. Buchi Emecheta: Storyteller, Sociologist, and Citizen of the World

Pamela Bromberg, Professor of English, Simmons University, USA

Chapter 11. "Where are you (really) from?" Transgender ethics, ethics of unknowing, and transformative adoption in Jackie Kay’s Trumpet and Toni Morrison’s Jazz

Pelagia Goulimari, English, University of Oxford, UK

Chapter 12. White Allyship and Narrative Dissonance in Andrea Levy’s Small Island

Agata Szczeszak-Brewer, Professor of English, Wabash College, USA

Chapter 13: "Civis Romana sum": Bernardine Evaristo’s The Emperor’s Babe and the Emancipatory Poetics of (Multi-) Cultural Citizenship

Deirdre Osborne (Reader in English Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London)

Chapter 14. Reinventing the Gothic in Oyeyemi’s White is for Witching: Maternal Ethics and Racial Politics

Jean Wyatt, Professor of English, Occidental College, USA

About the Editors

Jean Wyatt is a Professor of English at Occidental College, USA.

Sheldon George is a Professor of English at Simmons University, USA.

About the Series

Narrative Theory and Culture

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / African American
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
LITERARY CRITICISM / Comparative Literature
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Women